5/25 Castro out of No. 3 spot

Dale Sveum didn’t pick a new lineup out of a hat but he may try that next to kick-start the Cubs offense. On Friday, Starlin Castro was moved from the No. 3 spot to No. 2 for the first time this year and Joe Mather, who was hitting .278, made his 12th start, and and first batting third.

“It’s time,” Sveum said Friday. “The combination of not scoring throughout the whole season and Mather’s been as good as anybody swinging the bat so I’m going to give him a little opportunity to see what he can do. Like I told Castro, I said, ‘It’s not a demotion, it’s more shaking the team up.’ He was great about it — he was like, ‘Hey, I just want to win, I don’t care where I hit in the lineup.’ He took it well and completely understood.”

Mather started in center — he’s also played third and left field. The Cubs would like to see a little more pop out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Castro has hit two home runs; only the Phillies have had fewer homers from that spot in the lineup (one).

“There’s nothing [Castro] has done to be put down in the two-spot,” Sveum said. “It’s more change to get everything going. You never know. Sometimes you pick a lineup out of a hat and you win. I wasn’t going to go that far. You can do that in the American League, not the National League.”

Was he close to randomly picking a lineup?

“Not too far,” Sveum said, smiling. “You never know.”

— Carrie Muskat

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